Chinese President Xi Jinping meets the press after the Leaders’ Roundtable Summit at the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation at Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in Beijing, capital of China, May 15, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
The ongoing Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will make future-oriented plans for cooperation and push forward the construction of the routes on a new starting point, said a commentary published by People’s Daily on Sunday, the same day the two-day event opened in Beijing.
The following is an abstract translation of the article:
A total of 29 heads of state and governments, over 70 leaders of international organizations, and 1,500-plus representatives from worldwide attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation being held in Beijing.
As the highest-level Belt and Road international meeting since the initiative was firstly put forward, the historical event will definitely usher countries around the world into a new chapter to build it together.
Better than expected, progress and achievements have been scored by the efforts to construct Belt and Road. So far, more than 100 countries and international organizations have responded to the initiative, with 40 of them signing agreements of cooperation with China.
These accomplishments obtained in such a short period of time indeed indicated the initiative’s conformity with the trend of international peaceful development and the demand of Eurasian countries for cooperation and development.
The Belt and Road initiative is for China, but more importantly, it is for the world.
Now the world economy is still in a gloom, with rising tide of protectionism and anti-globalization. The conflicts between openness and conservatism, reform and fogyism economic integration and fragmentation have emerged as well.
Amid such background, the Belt and Road development provides a new engine to boost trade growth and accelerate the reform of global economic governance.
Fruitful harvests have been reaped from the endeavor to build the routes. The “Belt and Road” countries, for instance, have aligned their development strategies and construction plans, while investment and financing platforms such as Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Silk Road Fund have been set up.
The infrastructure projects like Jakarta-Bandunghigh speed rail and Gwadar Port are underway as well.
Photo taken shows a terminal of the Gwadar Port in Pakistan. (Photo by MengXianglin from People’s Daily)
These have not only accelerated China’s process to open up in an all-round way, but also brought development opportunities and tangible benefits for the countries and regions along the routes. The contribution of all involved countries was rewarded.
Such common actions are pushing the world toward an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive economy.
Chinese President Xi Jinping once pointed out that “the world will be a better place only when everyone is better off”.
To put Xi’s words into practice, Chinese enterprises have established 56 economic cooperation zones in Belt and Road countries during the last 3 years, creating nearly $1.1 billion tax revenue and 180,000 jobs. In addition, China’s direct investment in these countries reached $14.5 billion in merely 2016.
China is implementing the initiative and devoting to economic globalization with maximum sincerity and firm actions.
Xi stressed that the Silk Road is a common treasure for people all over the world. The continuous promotion of the initiative will not only effectively deepen the cooperation between China and the Belt and Road countries, but also deliver them and the world at large the conception to build a community of shared interests and future for the mankind.
The achievements in the past 3 years have made the Belt and Road initiative important international public product goods. The forum will determine the key cooperation areas for the next phase through consultation, make future-oriented plans for cooperation, and promote the construction of the Belt and Road on a new starting point, in a bid to further build consensus, set direction and plan visions.
The forum is not about empty talks. It will make itself into a highly-efficient global cooperation platform to encourage connectivity.
Closer alignment, effective implementation and other concrete actions will be taken to convert consensus into development engines and welfare for the public, so that the Belt and Road initiative will be strong enough to carry the hope and dream of the people from en-route countries.
By People’s Daily
Another related People’s Daily news article on the same topic
China Focus: Riding on fruitful forum, confident Xi takes Belt & Road to next level
BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) — A two-day forum of world leaders ended Monday with promises and high hopes that the Belt and Road Initiative will be the beginning of the building of a better world.
The initiative was first envisioned by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 to create a new platform for international cooperation. Nearly four years later, the plan came to a crucial juncture this past weekend with the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
Facing dozens of reporters at the scenic Yanqi Lake on the outskirts of Beijing Monday, Xi said the forum — graced by leaders of 30 countries — concluded with a positive signal that “all are united behind the initiative, and on course for the shared future of mankind.”
“Through the initiative, we hope we can find new driving forces for growth, create a new platform for global development, and re-balance economic globalization,” Xi said.
China has rallied support from all over the world to champion globalization and multilateralism at a time when the world’s largest economy — the United States — retreats to focus on domestic affairs.
The call was well received and not just from the developing world.
Major economies including G7 countries all sent representatives. Also present were people from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa — members of the BRICS group; other emerging economies like Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey; and oil-rich Middle Eastern states of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
Visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin said the initiative helped boost economic cooperation and exchanges among countries.
The 130 plus countries represented, including the host China, have more than two thirds of the global population. Their combined gross domestic product accounts for 90 percent of the world’s total.
Jose Vinals, chairman of Standard Chartered PLC, said the forum marked the start of the Belt and Road 2.0.
“We reached the consensus, set the way forward, and outlined an action plan,” Xi told reporters.
According to Xi, 68 countries and international organizations signed cooperation deals with China to carry forward the Belt and Road. Many were inked during the forum.
But the progress did not just end there. Xi said an outcome list of more than 270 items was formulated at the Leaders Roundtable of the forum, setting the way forward.
The roundtable also produced a communique. Among others, it strongly denounces protectionism.
“We reaffirm our shared commitment to build open economy, ensure free and inclusive trade, oppose all forms of protectionism,” it says. “We endeavor to promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system with WTO at its core.”
For the future, connectivity remains the centerpiece, Xi said. More land ports and sea ports will be linked into a vast trans-continental transport network.
Countries will also start “soft” connectivity programs to align rules and standards at customs, quality supervision, law enforcement. More industrial parks, economic corridors and capacity cooperation projects will be built. Low-carbon businesses, e-commerce, big data and smart cities will be supported, according to Xi.
A day before, he announced hefty financial support for all these endeavors.
— 100 billion yuan (about 14.5 billion U.S. dollars) to augment the Silk Road Fund;
— 380 billion yuan equivalent in loans for infrastructure and development projects from Chinese policy banks;
— 300 billion yuan to conduct overseas yuan fund businesses;
— 60 billion yuan in aid to developing countries and international organizations.
Since 2013, the initiative has gone beyond vision and become a reality, delivering real benefits to countries along the routes.
From Mongolia to Malaysia, Thailand to Pakistan and Laos to Uzbekistan, many projects, including high-speed railways, bridges, ports, industrial parks, oil pipelines and power grids, are being built. The living standards of many along the routes have been raised.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who attended the forum, gave the scheme the thumbs-up. He told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that the forum embodies China’s uniquely far-sighted, strategic vision and will be key to addressing global problems through international cooperation.
“We will take the Belt and Road to the next level — broader, deeper and higher,” Xi said. “We will be searching for a common solution to solve the big economic challenges of our times.”
Calling the initiative a long-term project, the president said it required joint efforts from all parties involved to turn the blueprint into concrete action and measurable outcomes.
World leaders will gather again to gauge the progress in 2019.
“We have every reason to be confident about the future,” the president said.